The other day, this tear-jerker of a video came across my Facebook feed (watch it until the end, and make sure you have kleenex on hand).
Not only was it the cause of many tears, but the video sparked a slew of comments about pet adoption and abuse, and shed light on a big problem in regards to animal welfare that needs to be addressed.
Children love puppies (and kittens for that matter), and it can be easy to give in to their sweet little pleas to add a furry friend to the family. But just like the decision to have another child should be very well thought out, so should be the decision to adopt a pet.
Before you head to the SPCA to pick out a pup for your family, ask yourself these 5 questions:
1) Are you ready for a slew of sleepless nights and unpredictable destruction? If you’re looking to adopt a puppy, be prepared for some sleepless nights, and for some of your favourite things to become irreparable chew toys.
2) Are you prepared to do all of the dirty work? While your children will be promising to pick up the poop and walk their new friend, the novelty will wear off, and it will be up to you to take over the tough tasks.
3) Is your home big enough for a full-sized pet? Puppies are small and cuddly, but they grow – and quickly! Before you sign the papers, make sure your home is equipped for the adult-version of your little pup.
4) Are you alright with a little unwanted noise? Dogs bark, it’s just what they do. So if you have a baby who needs silence to nap, or if you anger easily, perhaps a pup isn’t right for you.
5) Are you ready for the life-long commitment of caring for a pet? Yes puppies grow older, train well and settle in nicely after the first few months, but just like people, dogs get older. Injuries, ailments, and old age will eventually set in, and you will be responsible for added costs and extra care as your pet grows older.
Don’t get me wrong, there are so many great benefits to adopting a pet, but it’s important to prepare for the responsibilities that come with the life-long commitment before heading to the pound.